Helena High School celebrates Class of 2017

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

BIRMINGHAM–The BJCC Arena in Birmingham was filled with smiles as the Helena High School Class of 2017 was honored on Tuesday, May 23, for commencement exercises.

The Class of 2017 at HHS has been through a lot of adversity and transition as noted by Helena High School Principal April Brand, but they are revered by and respected for what they have been able to accomplish academically as well as outside the classroom.

“Over the past few years, you’ve preserved in difficult situations and you have overcome adversity,” Brand said. “You started high school at Pelham and transitioned to Helena as sophomore. So you really transitioned to high school twice. You were excited, anxious and some of you might have been a bit scared. You’ve challenged yourself academically and competed at the highest levels extracurricularly both in athletics, fine arts, you name it. You’ve attained many of the goals that you set for yourself.”

Collectively, the HHS 2017 senior class received a total of $5,928,879

In scholarships, competed and won championships and were rewarded with many other accolades.

Brand addressed the class saying that it’s the falling down in life that would help them learn.

“Most of us didn’t learn to ride a bike without a few bumps, bruises and band-aids, but it’s the falling down that helps you to learn,” Brand said. “Likewise, the times that you have picked yourself up and dust yourself off have allowed you to learn how to handle the many situations you will face in the days ahead. You cannot be so scared of falling down that you fail to go after the things that you want in life.”

Helena High School Valedictorian Cana Brown assured the Class of 2017 that although high school is over, the young men and women now have a chance to write their own chapter.

“After tonight, we will be going in different directions and to schools all across the country having the opportunity to write the next chapter of our story,” Brown said. “Most of us will be leaving behind a city that many of us have known our entire lives. Although we may not know every detail, we do know that we were created for this moment. Dr. Marin Luther King Jr. said, ‘Faith is taking the first step even though you don’t see the whole staircase.’”

The Helena High School Class of 2017 included 273 candidates for graduation.

Find more images from this years graduation at www.shelbycountyphotos.com.